I've been a huge fan of the Saw movies since they started, and it's easy to see why Saw has become one of the biggest franchises in modern Horror. The whole idea of the 'games' is so simple yet brilliant, and opens the doors for all manner of ingenuitive traps culminating in wonderfully shocking and savage death scenes. However, what made the first couple of films truly magnificent were the twists in the story. I feel that as the franchise went on, the writers struggled to find new twists that would genuinely surprise the audience, and the compulsory twists became predictable and, in some cases, a bit shit. I was glad that the Saw series ended when it did, before spiralling into the world of 'straight to DVD' low budget cash grabs as so many other franchises have fallen into in the past, tarnishing their legacy (I'm looking at you in particular, Hellraiser!).
So when I heard that the Saw team were going to continue making these movies after a seven year break, and under the name Jigsaw, I was a little sceptical. The trailer looked relatively big budget, and it looked like it could be a cool movie after all, so I went to the cinema to watch it in its full glory.
I'm pleased to report that it was really very good indeed. The formula is still pretty much the same, with a bunch of detectives discovering bodies and trying to work out who's doing the elaborate killings, all entwined with plenty of Jigsaw's games. There are several twists in the plot, in keeping with the original movies, and while I guessed a couple of them, the others caught me off guard.
I think that the last few years with no Saw movies has given the writers chance to really develop the story in Jigsaw, and everything about it feels refreshed and exciting once more. The actors are fantastic, and the visuals are stunning. Jigsaw doesn't particularly tread any new ground, but it has certainly breathed new life into the franchise, and I'd say it's the best one since Saw II.